The original food trucks were sometimes nicknamed “roach coaches” because they would often scatter from one spot to another, probably because they were evading parking restrictions or traffic enforcers.

But as food trucks have gained in popularity and legitimacy, they’re beginning to stake their claim on territory. In San Francisco, you don’t have to follow your favorite trucks on Twitter when you’re hankering for a gourmet burrito or simple ethnic food, you just have to drop in on the SOMA Streat Food Park.

The line up of food trucks changes daily at SOMA Streat Food Park

Patterned after Portland’s permanent food pods, the food park opened earlier this summer as a safe haven for food trucks looking for a place to park. Granted, it’s not necessarily in a high foot-traffic area (at the corner of South Van Ness and 11th Street across from CostCo), it is a welcoming place to eat street food, with lots of seating, a covered area with a flat-screen TV, and restrooms.

The park is open every day for lunch and dinner, with different food trucks each day, so you do have to check SOMA Streat Food’s Twitter feed or Facebook to get the day’s line up. The weekends seem to gather more trucks (the space looks like eight trucks could park there), while the weeknights might attract about four to five trucks.

Still, the people behind the park are trying to generate a regular food-truck-eating community with special events and live music on certain nights.

Pastrami burrito ($8) from La Pastrami food truck had a nice special sauce that eclipsed the natural flavor of the pastrami, but it was still enjoyable.

What I like about visiting the park is that you discover new trucks all the time. For example, I tasted from the La Pastrami truck for the first time, trying a pastrami burrito. The truck offers all things pastrami, including a pastrami quesadilla and pastrami fries. On another day I tried sweets from SF Delights, a dessert truck in a former ambulance serving up Asian fusion desserts.

In San Francisco, we’re getting close to the season of Indian summer when the city finally gets some warm weather. So that’s the perfect time to discover this truck stop for gourmet food lovers.

SOMA StrEAT Food Park, 428 11th St., San Francisco. Open weekdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; and weekends, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. somastreatfoodpark.com

Old Delhi Lamb Dosa ($9) from the Dosa Republic truck comes with potato curry and chopped tomatoes and chickpeas. A dosa is like a crepe and this was nicely crispy with spicy and tender lamb cubes.

The food truck park is off the stretch of South Van Ness surrounded by highways and billboards.

With changing trucks, you can discover ones you’ve never tried, like La Pastrami for me.

A pulled pork slider ($4) and a side of cole slaw ($2.50) from the Smokin’ Warehouse truck.

Diners come from all over by foot, bike, and cars to check out the food trucks.

A covered seating area with a flat screen TV will probably come in handy during the cold San Francisco nights.

SOMA Streat Food Park offers up lots of seating areas and restrooms (and they’re not the port-o-pottie types).

From the SF Delights truck I tried a matcha green tea creme brulee, $4, (top of page) and a Thai coffee tiramisu, $2.50 (right).

You never have to wonder where a food truck will park when you visit the SOMA Streat Food Park.

7 Responses to No Need to Chase Food Trucks at this SOMA Stop

  1. The pastrami wrap/burrito sounds great in theory, too bad it lacked in execution. Thankfully, the crispy dosa wrap sounded great in theory and perfectly executed, as well!

    • Ben Ben says:

      The pastrami burrito actually tasted pretty good, even though the taste of the pastrami got covered up. I think the only odd thing about eating a pastrami burrito was eating the pastrami meat with rice. For some reason, the two together didn’t click for me.

  2. Mai says:

    (Maybe) not related to food trucks, but your pastrami burrito reminds me of something on my list to eat: the (San Diego) California burrito, do you happen to know where in Berkeley/SF I could find a good fat one?

    • Ben Ben says:

      Oh, I wish I could give you a recommendation. I’m not a big Mexican food afficionado, so I actually never really know about the “California” burrito until you mentioned it. I Googled it and the carne asada and potatoes in a burrito sounds pretty good. Actually, the lamb dosa I had is pretty close because along with the tender lamb chunks were potatoes (although not fried apparently like the California burrito). Let me know if you find a good California burrito around town!

      • Mai says:

        Hehe, will do. I’m not big on Mexican food either, so I only knew about the “California burrito” from reading Lucky Peach. 😀

  3. Carolyn Jung says:

    Pastrami burrito?!! Genius idea, especially with the homemade creamy sauce. Can’t wait to check out this lot and to see who’s parked there when.

  4. Mrs. L says:

    Down in the San Jose area there is a Moveable Feast every Friday about five minutes from my house that has at least ten trucks. Love trying all the various offerings…some a hit, others a miss, but still fun!